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NY Post
New York Post
2 Sep 2023


NextImg:Mom stuck mopping bloody mess in NYCHA building after vicious slashing

A Brooklyn mom was stuck holding the mop when the city dragged its feet in cleaning up the bloody aftermath of a vicious slashing in her building this month.

Shaquana Applewhite woke up to a scene out of “The Shining” the morning of Aug. 17 with blood covering four floors, the stairwells, and the lobby of the NYCHA’s Bushwick Houses.

A 34-year-old man was slashed on the 14th floor around 1 a.m. and ran through the building at 24 Humboldt St. looking for help, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

The mess was still there on Friday afternoon when Applewhite came from work.

“I said, ‘I can’t leave this here like this.’ So I took the bleach out, took the mop, and I cleaned my floor,” Applewhite, 32, told The Post.

Shaquana Applewhite cleaned up the gruesome mess left behind after a man bled throughout her building last week.
Helayne Seidman
Blood splatter throughout the stairwell entrance in the Bushwick Houses.
Blood was spread throughout four floors of the Bushwick Houses and down to the lobby after a slashing last week.
Courtesy of Shaquana Applewhite

“I just did my best to do what I had to do for my kids,” said the mom of an 8-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy.

Applewhite bought cleaning supplies for the task, which took two hours because the blood had to soak in order to be removed. She had to toss the clothes and shoes she wore after.

“This s–t is sad … this is just inhumane,” she said in a video posted to TikTok.

Blood running down an elevator button in the Bushwick Houses.
Blood covered the elevator and stairwells throughout multiple floors of the NYCHA building at 24 Humboldt Street.
Helayne Seidman
Dwane Simmons, a NYCHA building caretaker supervisor.
Dwane Simmons is a caretaker supervisor for the New York City Housing Authority.
Helayne Seidman

That same day a building caretaker also started to clean the gore, said Dwane Simmons, a NYCHA caretaker supervisor, but was told to stop and wait for a professional team.

Simmons said Alpha Medical Waste Removal was notified but had to wait for the police to finish investigating.

“I’m not sure they work on the weekend, so they didn’t come, then Monday morning came and I re-called them trying to find out what was going on,” said Simmons.

The clean-up crew finally showed up four days later.

One of the nine NYCHA Bushwick Houses, 24 Humboldt Street.
Felony assaults in the Bushwick Houses NYCHA complex have risen 29% this year compared to 2022.
Helayne Seidman

NYCHA deferred any questions about the handling of the crime scene to the NYPD, which only said the investigation was ongoing.

Meanwhile, the pros did a shoddy job, leaving blood splatter on the walls of the hallways and stairwells, The Post observed last week.

Applewhite said she wasn’t surprised by the latest horror, since she has long felt unsafe in the “deplorable” living conditions in the city-run housing project.

Police walk into 24 Humboldt Street, one of the buildings in the NYCHA Bushwick Houses complex.
Overall crime for the Bushwick Houses is up 21% for the year, according to police data.
Helayne Seidman

She has been waiting since April 2022 to be relocated to another apartment, a process that has been delayed as she is left to battle leaks, rats, cockroaches, and crime scene clean-ups.

Major crime is up nearly 18% in the Bushwick Houses this year compared to 2022, according to NYPD data. Felony assaults have jumped 29% with 22 reported incidents so far this year.

Just a month ago, there was another bloodbath in the building, residents said.

Blood smeared across apartment door.
Blood was smeared across the door to Anel Gonzales’ family’s apartment after a resident was slashed.
Courtesy of Anel Gonzales

“Two or three weeks ago, one of the elevators was full of blood,” said Anel Gonzales, whose mother-in-law lives on Applewhite’s floor. “No information … Nothing is being told to us.”

Gonzales returned to the apartment after the injured man fled throughout the building last week and found blood smeared across the door. She feared it was one of her family members inside.

“I had to open it with my T-shirt,” she said.

NYCHA properties, including the Bushwick Houses, are notorious for miserable conditions including mold, busted pipes, lead paint exposure, and heating failures, The Post reported last year, and the cost of all the repairs needed across its 274 complexes would be more than $78 billion.